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San Sebastian and 2 day trips into France...lodging and places to see

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Dec 8th, 2013, 03:56 PM
  #1
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San Sebastian and 2 day trips into France...lodging and places to see

My sister and myself fairly well traveled in Europe, want to spend about 2 weeks in SanSebastian Basque country June 2014. She will be celebrating a "big" BD but we both feeling very young in spirit and heart. Plan to start 2 days in Barcelona and from there we are planning on training to San Sebastian. We do want to spend a few days in France (Biarritz? perhaps.) We plan to arrive and depart from Barcelona. Suggestions on best towns to see, inexpensive (but nice) lodgings and of course food as we (especially she) are both big foodies.

Thanks!
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Dec 8th, 2013, 06:13 PM
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In San S. daughter and I stayed at a very nice hotel Hostal Alemeda.. On a pedestrian street near everything and very reasonable. 2nd flr with an elevator. If you are arriving in BCN why not consider leaving from MAD..or Bilboa. You will not have to back track and it is quite a trip back to BCN. juxt a thought.
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Dec 8th, 2013, 08:32 PM
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Well, a budget would certainly be helpful in pointing you in the right direction. High season usually begins near the end of June (whenever the Donostia Cup takes place), but drops off in early July.

As noted, if you are arriving in Barcelona, then I would highly recommend departing from Bilbao to save the time needed to return to Barcelona. As far as taking the train from Barcelona to San Sebastian, you will find it easier and quicker to fly into Hondarribia (Iberia) or Bilbao (several air lines).
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Dec 9th, 2013, 12:06 AM
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I'm sure you already know but you are going to food heaven - probably some other posters will give you some recommendations but we loved just wandering to the many pinxtos bars and just trying this and than.The one place I remember most fondly was (I believe) La Cuchara del San Telemo - something like that. It is tucked away around a corner, has very limited seating but there most dishes are cooked to order instead of being out on display. Wonderful bacon wrapped scallops and roast suckling pig. Enjoy!

We wanted to day trip to France and it just wasn't as easy as you'd think but since you plan to spend a night or two, that should be more doable.
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Dec 9th, 2013, 08:19 AM
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from Barcelona , Vueling ( not Iberia) flies to Hondarribia - some days once a day ( very early in
the morning) some days there are evening flights as well.
Iberia flights are via Madrid .
One can take the local bus or a taxi to SS from the airport in Hondarribia.

The train ride from Barcelona to takes 5:35 hours ( return almost six hours)

Vueling has several flights a day Barcelona - Bilbao
From Bilbao airport you can take a bus ( 75 min) to SS.
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Dec 9th, 2013, 08:25 AM
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BTW..., if you take the train you could make a few stops ...Zaragoza or Pamplona???
At present , only two trains. - early ..morning and afternoon.
check RENFE.
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Dec 9th, 2013, 07:53 PM
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Vueling is part of Iberia, so booking a flight is not an issue.

We spend quite a bit of time in the Pays Basque every year. Biarritz is a good destination, as is St. Jean de Luz, but both are day trips from Donostia-San Sebastian. For inexpensive lodging is the Pays Basque, within a shout of Biarritz, you can check out Hotel Mendi Alde in Ossès (www.hotel-mendi-alde.com). Isabelle will take good care of you. But since it is very popular with the Camino and bicycle touring crowds, you need to book well in advance.

For something a bit more upscale, check out L'Auberge Basque in St. Pée (www.aubergebasque.com). Cedric is one of the top chefs in the region.

If you want to stay in Biarritz, at a reasonable price, then check out Hôtel 7B (www.hotel7b.com/en/)
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Dec 9th, 2013, 08:52 PM
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For venturing into France, choose St-Jean-de-Luz over Biarritz.
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Dec 10th, 2013, 06:57 AM
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Vueling, Iberia and British Airways are owned by the same outfit - IAG.
bur airfare from Barcelona to Bilbao ( I picked a random date ...February 13 th) appears to be higher if booked through Iberia ( than the same Vueling flight booked directly through Vueling.)

Why is that?
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Dec 10th, 2013, 08:20 AM
  #10
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Hi f,

We were quite happy with our stay at https://www.hotelzaragozaplaza.com/ in SS.

Ditto St C.

Why not leave from Madrid? It is just as easy to take the train from SS to Madrid as to return to Barcelona.
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Dec 10th, 2013, 09:20 AM
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We recently flew from Barcelona to Bilbao and back using Vueling. I was impressed with their website, which made it easy to access all options and even print out our boarding passes here in the US before we left.

I thought Vueling was more like SouthWest Airlines in the USA (a low cost airline but one that doesn't cut corners on service) than some of the really cut-rate European airlines you hear the horror stories about.

Rates vary but started at 30 Euros, which is I think less than the train. And it's one hour instead of five or so. If you have little luggage you can fly cheaply but the more 'stuff' you bring the higher the tariff (we left two suitcases in Barcelona, but we were only in Basque country a few days).

Another tip ... easy to get from/from the Barcelona airport to Plaça de Catalunya (center of town) using the AeroBus, which was < 6 Euros each way and ran every 5-10 minutes. Our hotel was near the PdC so we could just walk from there, but even if your hotel is elsewhere you could grab a cab or use the subway from Plaça de Catalunya.

And in Bilbao we just caught a bus out front of the airport for 1.4 Euros. The first stop was near the Guggenheim, where our hotel was located. So 2.8 Euros instead of a 25 Euro taxi fare.

Here's the Aerobus link: http://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.c...s-aerobus.html

Have a great trip ... we really enjoyed both Barcelona and Bilbao.
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